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Montana governor named College of Agricultural Sciences Distinguished Alumnus

April 16, 2009

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer will be one of 16 people honored Saturday, April 18 during the Colorado State University Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. Schweitzer will receive the College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus Award.

Governor Schweitzer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Agronomy from Colorado State in 1978. During his time at CSU, Schweitzer was active in the Agronomy Club, eventually becoming national president of the student section of the American Society of Agronomy.

International irrigation development 

Schweitzer then began a career of irrigation development that took him to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America before returning to his home state of Montana. In 2004, Schweitzer was elected as Montana's 23rd governor and first Democratic governor since 1988.

"With his ambition, creativity and leadership, you could tell that Brian was going to do big things," said Jack Fenwick, associate professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State. Fenwick nominated Schweitzer for the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Lifelong interest in our land

"My years at the College of Ag Sciences cemented my lifelong interest in our land," said Governor Schweitzer in his letter of acceptance. "The lessons I learned from my professors inspired me to continue my formal education, and to never stop questioning how we can do better by expanding our knowledge of the world around us. I am deeply honored to have been selected this year's Distinguished Alumni from the College of Agricultural Sciences."

Governor Schweitzer married his college sweetheart Nancy; they have three children and a now-famous border collie, Jag.

Unable to attend ceremony

Governor Schweitzer will be unable to attend the ceremony.

The awards program, sponsored by the Colorado State Alumni Association, recognizes Colorado State alumni and friends whose professional work stands out, who have brought honor to the university or who have made significant contributions to the university or the community.

The awards ceremony will take place 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at the Hilton Fort Collins.

Contact: Jim Beers
Phone: (970) 491-6401